That's how many honeybees are in an average colony – so what should you do if they decide to call your house home? In this Angie's List report, the eco–friendly removal option more people are considering.
This is a normal day for beekeeper Ross Harding. He puts on his suit and goes to work removing honeybees from places they're not wanted. There's been a sudden die–off in honeybee colonies and many homeowners are now requesting live removal.
"Live removal is really a great thing because basically you're just relocating the hive. You're not killing any bees. You're removing the entire colony and their comb and you're sealing up that hole so no bees will return. But then you can take that hive somewhere where they are actually wanted," says Beekeeper Ross Harding.
Angie's list recommends asking a few key questions before hiring a bee specialist. What do your services cover? Many experts only focus on bee removal, so if they cut into your ceilings or walls, you may have to hire a separate contractor to repair the damage. How many removals have they performed and will they remove the honeycomb? A honeycomb left unattended will melt into a sticky mess that could seep through your walls, attracting more bees.
"Getting rid of bees is not a do–it–yourself project. In fact, last summer when I had bees attacking my kid's swing set I called in a professional and the reason is you might not realize how big of a problem it is until you're actually in the midst of fixing it. You might see a few bees, but there might be a lot more behind where you can't see. Hiring a professional can make sure it's done safely," says Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks.
Experts tell Angie's List a bee removal in a home could cost between $200 and $800.